click to show more information

click to hide/show information About this Show

CNN Newsroom

News/Business. Latest on the day's top news stories with a focus on global news, trends and destinations.

NETWORK
CNN

DURATION
01:00:00

RATING

SCANNED IN
San Francisco, CA, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Virtual Ch. 759 (CNN HD)

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
1920

PIXEL HEIGHT
1080

TOPIC FREQUENCY

America 11, Us 9, Obama 7, Sandy 3, Aurora 3, Connecticut 3, Emilie 2, The Nation 2, Gary Tuchman 2, Frank Bruni 2, Kowalski 2, Josephine 2, New Nectresse 2, Steve 2, Wolf Blitzer 1, Sanjay 1, Harry Reid 1, Shaul 1, Anderson 1, Janet Vulmer 1,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  CNN    CNN Newsroom    News/Business. Latest on the day's top news stories  
   with a focus on global news, trends and destinations.  

    December 17, 2012
    1:00 - 1:59am PST  

1:00am
is suggesting a ban on all guns in america. the second amendment is absolutely part of american culture and people believe in it. however, there are limitations. the amendment talks about a well-regulated militia. people are calling out for taking some of these weapons away from people with potential mental issues. to me, the question for you is this, the last three mass shootings in the last four months in america, aurora, orego in the shopping mall and now here in newtown have involved young people using the same and now here, newtown, all involved young people using the same weapon. an ar-15 semiautomatic rifle all with high capacity magazines. in aurora, over 100 in his magazine which he could fire off. here we saw up to 30. here's the question.
1:01am
why do you feel that americans should have those if your belief is they just have to defend themselves? >> well, before i go any further, piers, first, thanks for having me back. we did have a heated discussion last time and i much appreciate this more calm discussion. second, on behalf of i'm sure i speak for the entire board of michigan coalition of responsible gun owners we offer our sincere condolence and sympathies for the victims and their families. we are all about safety. we all want to be safe and we certainly want children to be safe. like i said last week, we just disagree on how to get there from here. to answer your question, i would point out that the shooter in the mall in oregon was confronted by a legally armed citizen who pointed his gun at the shooter and then decided not to squeeze the trigger because he was afraid of missing and hitting bystanders. he was acting very responsibly.
1:02am
and the next shot that that shooter fired, that the killer fired, was on himself after he was confronted with an armed citizen. so that's actually one example of a responsible gun owner using a gun to save lives. >> well, he actually didn't use the gun. i think the point, dan, unless i'm mistaken. you take it up here. but i don't think any american citizen with a legal gun has ever intervened in a mass shooting, certainly not in the last 30 or 40 years in america. so it seems to be a bit of a myth -- >> actually, they have. >> let dan answer. >> before this evolves into an argument, i mean, as easy as it is to become uninspired by a conversation like this and what your other guest is saying, i just encourage the american public to not lose the sense of inspiration in terms of the change that we have the potential to accomplish. this is not the conversation that the american public want to have. this is not our vision where the answer to violence is more violence, where the answer to guns is more guns.
1:03am
there is fertile ground where the overwhelming majority of americans agree with things like background checks to make sure that 40% of all gun sales that are not currently covered by background checks to prevent mentally ill people from getting guns, to prevent criminals and domestic abusers from getting guns, to close that gaping hole in our system. gun owners, 74% of nra members support solutions like that. unfortunately, sometimes this plays out as a polarized political debate in segments like the one i was part of also on friday night, but the reality is the american public isn't polarized. the only place this is a polarized political debate is in congress. what we need to do is we need to take the voice of the american people who know that, as president obama said tonight, we can be better than this and hold our leaders accountable. >> to the politics side, this is very interesting to me. this is almost a mirror tragedy of what happened in britain in 1996 and scotland, 16 young 5 and 6-year-old children were killed. it was the worst shooting of its type in modern american history, and as a result, a full handgun
1:04am
ban was brought in. which would not be applicable here, because there are too many in circulation, however, it did happen. but what was most notable about the debate, it was completely non-political. it never descended into left and right. my question for you, steve, is why does this have to be political? why can it not just be a bipartisan, all encompassing, american dialogue, which leads in the end to pragmatic solution? >> i agree with your last statement, absolutely, piers. in fact, our group is a single issue non-partisan group. we have independents, democrats, and republicans on our board and in our membership, and most are elected officials. we actually do take that position. >> do you agree with universal background checks? >> universal background checks? >> yes. >> you know we have the criminal background check in place. >> right, but that only applies to 60% of gun sales. do you agree with covering the
1:05am
other 40% of gun sales with background checks? >> we agree that disqualified individuals should not have access to firearms. >> so you agree with the background checks that would be -- >> are you going to let me finish? please, please. >> let me ask you, give me one good reason why there shouldn't be 100% background checks on all gun transactions in america. give me a good reason. >> it's literally impossible, piers, as you pointed out a moment ago, to do 100%. we have a lot of guns in circulation on earth and in the united states. we know that guns pass across borders. >> we're talking about new ones. >> national and state borders. >> let me focus the question more solidly and realistically. new guns purchased from this day forward, would you be supportive of 100% registration, accountability, database, a national database, and if you're not in favor of that, why wouldn't you be?
1:06am
>> or as close as we can get to 100%, which is a lot closer than where we are now. >> the system we have in place right now is a list of those disqualified. personally, i would support that based on everything i've been able to learn in my position as professor of firearms law and in my position as a trainer of concealed pistol licensees that the national instant check system seems to be working quite well. i believe that's one area everyone agrees. >> we should apply to 100% of gun sales? >> we have a list of folks who are disqualified who have been adjudicated mentally ill, felony records that disqualify them, et cetera. that system seems to work quite well. >> we have to wrap it up. final question for you, steve, is this. in light of the fact the last three mass shootings, as i said, all featured an ar-15 rifle aided and abetted by high-capacity magazines, give me
1:07am
a good reason why you are comfortable with those weapons still being sold in connection with high-capacity magazines in america in places like walmart? >> fair enough. and i don't know any particular retailer, but i will say we did try from 1994 to 2004, we tried the so-called assault weapons ban. it had no impact on crime that anyone could measure whatsoever, and the truth is sometimes these guns are used in very positive ways to save lives. they are functionally identical to semi-automatic weapons that date back literally to the 1800s. a high-capacity magazine is nothing but a steel box and a spring. it's incredibly easy to make a high-capacity magazine. the truth is that any such ban would be ineffective. >> this is totally disconnected with what the american people want and the conversation that's happening out there, and that's what gives me inspiration to continue to have conversations like this. the american public knows we are better than this. we don't want to live in a
1:08am
society where violence leads to more violence and guns lead to more guns. that's the conversation that's starting. that's the conversation that president obama is leading and that the american people need to speak up around. >> got to leave it there. >> we all agree we need safety. >> we're all agreed on that. i'm sure this debate will continue. we will continue this debate on the show. it's been an important one for america. thank you both. president obama said we can't tolerate this anymore, but will there be a change in gun policy? i'll ask frank bruni after the break.
1:09am
1:10am
i wish to god she had had an m4 in her office locked up so when she heard gunfire she pulls it out and she didn't have to lunge heroically with nothing in her hands, but she takes him off, takes his head off before he could kill those precious kids. >> texas congressman saying something many americans agree
1:11am
with. but is arming teachers a solution? frank bruni, when i hear that, i just despair, but it is a view many americans have. polls suggest that if the teachers had all been armed, one would have shot this guy and children's lives would have been saved. >> if police officers can't fire with an accuracy, they can't prevent themselves from injuring those people. why would we believe teachers in schools would have wonderful marksmanship and would make this a better thing. it defies common sense. >> i think it's ridiculous. it cannot be true. america has the most guns of any of the civilized world. >> and the most gun related deaths. >> twice as many as anybody else. >> right, right. >> the penny doesn't seem to drop with people. >> you had dan gross on before. i met him back in 1997 when
1:12am
another empire state shooting up at the top, his brother was horribly, horribly injured. i've been writing on and off about gun control. since then 15 years, states have gotten more lax. the federal government has done anything. we're going to see what we're made of. i feel like there's a degree of heartbreak and level of outrage that is bigger than i've ever seen. we're going to find out whether we're willing to do anything. >> i completely agree. i think president obama is emotional now, he said this is the fourth time to comfort communities torn apart by shootings. six of the worst mass shootings in american history have happened since 2007. this is bordering on an epidemic. >> it's not bordering anymore. it is an epidemic. i think something will change. for the first time out of this misery i feel a little bit of hope. i watched your show friday, the amount of outrage in your voice
1:13am
was higher than i had ever seen. i think about the opening of "saturday night live" last night with that rendition of "sideline the night." i watched the president on television last night. it feels like people have had enough. the president said causes are complex and we don't know but he said we have an obligation to try. and i think those were key words. i think we all finally realize whether something's going to work or not, we can't just say oh, the assault weapons ban didn't work so well. we have an obligation to trial. there are all of these dead children that are not going to live to see tomorrow. we owe our best effort, even if it's a flawed effort. >> there has to be a better system. on guns, it has to be a specific debate.
1:14am
it's no good saying ban guns. it's never going to happen in america and there's too many out there. the assault weapons ban, i don't believe it was as ineffectual as they would like us to have us believe. allowing them to come back in, why does any young man in america or woman, they're all men at the moment, need one of these ar-15 assault rifles capable of firing hundreds of bullets. >> or the high capacity clips. what about the second amendment says to us people has to have access to those? we can't outlaw them, put stringent requirements. it doesn't mean we'll be able to enforce it perfectly. even if we enforce it in a flawed fashion that prevents one massacre or five deaths a year, don't we owe it to the country and the children of country to try that? >> do you think the scale of what happened in newtown makes
1:15am
this the tipping point. >> i think what makes it a tipping point is where it comes in the sequence and the age of the victims. when you're talking about kids this age, i think that's what really got to people. >> frank, good to see you. >> good to see you. >> after the break we'll remember those victims in silence, each of them, by name and by picture. [ children laughing ] move to the country, and live a long, happy life together where they almost never fight about money. [ dog barks ] because right after they get married, they'll find some retirement people who are paid on salary, not commission. they'll get straightforward guidance and be able to focus on other things, like each other, which isn't rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade.
1:16am
we leave you tonight with the names and photographs of the victims of the sandy hook tragedy. 20 children and 6 teachers who must never be forgotten. here they are.
1:17am
1:18am
1:19am
1:20am
the end of the most harrowing weekend imaginable for this town or any town. sadly, the days ahead won't get better. there are many difficult days and months and weeks ahead. starting tomorrow, parents will begin burying their children, trying to imagine it is almost unthinkable. it's impossible to find the words, all the words that we can say in this hour are going to seem so small in the face of the tragedy that has occurred here. now is the time to lean on one another or the parents and the loved ones and the families here can to be the one to lean on. they came together tonight for a vigil, crowding into the local high school just behind me. the local high school auditorium to listen to spiritual leaders offered words of comfort. president obama spoke as well. saying we as a nation are simply not doing enough to keep our children safe. he promised to work to put an end to future tragedies like this one. we'll play you his call for
1:21am
action shortly. but we don't want to focus on the killer. for the last several days we haven't said his name and i don't want history to remember him. we and the people here want history to remember the teachers and the children and those whose lives have been so unfortunately taken. people with hopes and with dreams and with stories. even though 20 of those stories had only just begun. we're learning more about their lives from parents and from friends and local and national papers and from local blogs. if you remember after the shooting in aurora there was a vigil in aurora, colorado and every time somebody's name was read, one of the victim's name was read, the crowd said back we will remember. and so with that in mind tonight, i thought we'd take a few moments to read you the names of each and every fallen child and grown-up and tell you what we can about their lives. charlotte bacon. was 6 years old. we will remember her.
1:22am
she was wearing a new pink dress and boots, a holiday outfit. charlotte begged her mom to wear it to school that day. her big brother was also at school that day but we're told he made it to safety. her uncle says she could light up a room. we'll also remember daniel barden, 7 years old, just 7 years old, daniel was a budding athlete. he swam, played soccer, was missing two front teeth. his family called him fearless. we will remember olivia engel as well, just 6 years old. she played tennis and soccer, was a ballet dancer and a patient big sister to her 3-year-old brother. her family said she loved school, colors, pink and purple and was going to be an angel in a nativity play schedule for just last night. we will remember 7-year-old josephine gay as well. josephine turned 7 on tuesday. she, too, loved the color
1:23am
purple, her neighbors are hanging purple balloons from mailboxes and fences in her memory. we will remember her. we'll also remember ana marquez-greene, 6 years old, ana grew up with music in her ears. her dad plays jazz, saxophone and flute. his 2009 album features a song he wrote about her, the title "ana grace." we'll also remember diylan hockley. he too, 6 years old. he came from england originally. his mom recently calling the area a wonderful place to live with incredible neighbors and wonderful schools. we will remember dylan. we'll also remember 6-year-old madeleine hsu. maddie they call her. she was upbeat and kind, a sweet and wonderful little girl.
1:24am
we're remember also kathericath hubbard. she loved animals. her family is requesting donations be made to the newtown animal shelter saying that's probably what she would have wanted. we'll remember her. we'll remember 7-year-old chase kowalski. for his love of outdoor sports and his talent for them. he just won his first mini triathlon. a neighbor says he was always outside riding his bike. we will remember chase kowalski. we'll remember that 6-year-old jesse lewis was learning how to ride a horse. it was only natural, his family had five of them, two miniatures, three dogs, a flock of chickens. his mother said he loved to tell stories and lived life brave and true. we will remember. we'll also remember 6-year-old james. he's being remembered as a
1:25am
sweetheart of a kid with such an innocent face. a face that we and they and everyone should remember. we'll remember the face of 7-year-old grace mcdonnell, a neighbor describes it as the face of an angel. she was her mother's little best friend. her family in a brief statement saying, our daughter grace was the love and light of our family. words cannot adequately express our sense of loss. we, too, will remember grace. and we'll also remember emilie parker, just 6 years old, emilie was a mentor to her two younger sisters ages 3 and 4. her father says -- her father said when they needed comfort they looked to emilie. they will remember her and so will we. we'll remember another 6-year-old, jack pinto, jack loved wrestling. he and his team were scheduled
1:26am
to compete this weekend at a match against a new jersey wrestling club. we will remember him. there's so many folks, so many people to remember, noah pozner, 6 years old, as smart as a whip according to his uncle who loved reading and figuring things out, noah's twin sister was at school as well on friday. the two were said to be inseparable. she survived. he did not. when talking to noah's aunt later tonight. we'll remember him. 6-year-old caroline, known for a time as boo because she resembled the little girl in "monster's inc. " we will remember her. jessica. she loved horses and wanted kou girl boots for christmas. we'll remember avielle richman.
1:27am
she was excited because she was about to lose her first tooth. benjamin wheeler's birth led his family to newtown, they moved out of new york in search of some place quiet. benjamin was also 6 years old and we'll remember him. and we'll remember allison wyatt, 6 years old, none of the children who died was older than 7. we'll remember rachel davino, she was 29, devoted to helping special needs children. 52-year-old anne marie murphy helped shield her students from the killer, the gunfire and had her arms around some of them at the end. we'll remember her and so will this community. we'll remember 30-year-old laur lauren russeau. she was a full-time substitute at sandy hook. we'll remember school psychologist, mary sherlach. we'll remember her.
1:28am
we will also remember victoria soto. no one in this town will ever forget 27-year-old victoria soto who died trying to protect the lives of her first graders. she was the oldest of four children. we will remember her and, of course, we will remember the school principal, dawn hochsprung. she was firm and funny and the kids loved her. even little kids know when someone cares about them. that was her and we'll remember her. just as we remember all 26 lives lost in that school on that day, 26 stories cut short friday morning here in newtown, connecticut. newtown is now the nation's heartache. it is our open wound, a hole so large said one minister in prayer tonight that we're not even sure god can fill it. something to hope for and to his hope and his hope is everyone's hope as we bring you moments from tonight's vigil starting with first responders coming into the auditorium to a round of applause.
1:29am
♪ >> we gather here in memory of 0 beautiful children and 6 remarkable adults they lost their livs in a school that could have been any school. in a quiet town full of god and decent people that could be any town in america. here in newtown, i come to offer the love and prayers of a nation. i am very mindful that mere words cannot match the depths of your sorrow. nor can they heal your wounded hearts.
1:30am
i can only hope it helps for you to know that you're not alone in your grief, that our world, too, has been torn apart. that all across this land of ours, we have wept with you. we've pulled our children tight. and you must know that whatever measure of comfort we can provide, we will provide. >> with me now are two clergy members who spoke at the vigil. the reverend matt crebbin, senior minister of the newtown congregational church. and rabbi praver. what do you want to come out of this? what do you want people to know? >> i'm hoping, anderson, this will be the tipping point in our country.
1:31am
i feel that children are inundated with the culture of violence from a very young age. from the toys that we play with to the movies that we see and the tv that we see. that we can do better, and we can make games that are exciting that have a positive objective. and we really need to do that, because i think it's too commonplace, the violent reaction. of course, the individual is deranged but there's a part of me that thinks if we had more of a culture of peace that these kind of events would be less likely to happen. >> reverend, what are you hoping comes out of this? >> well, i'm hoping for our community that the community grows even closer and stronger. i know people have spoken about how close and strong it was before. but as you know, in a tragedy like this, we're very vulnerable. but i also have hope that we can become stronger and closer and care for one another in deeper ways. >> it's extraordinary just the last couple days, i've been here. complete strangers come up to one another on the street and
1:32am
are hugging and sharing, sharing their hearts with each other. >> right. and there's an outpouring, both in the town but as you well know, from people around the world. and -- but that will slowly dissipate. and the attention will disappear from this place, and we'll be returning to lives that are supposed to be normal. for many people, they won't feel normal again. how do we make those lives feel connected and closer and cared for and vibrant? because we don't want this event to define the spirit of our faith communities, the spirit of this community. we want people to know that there is something more, something hopeful, something that we can even become more compassionate, more caring, some of the things shaul has talked about, how we see people not just here in found but in the world.
1:33am
>> i thought seeing representatives from all faiths w on that stage tonight was a very powerful and moving statement. what do you -- how -- there's so many parents around the world who are following this, who don't know what to say to their children, don't know how to explain it. how do you council somebody. what do you say to them? >> you mean, around the country? >> yeah, or here, anywhere. >> we have young ones too, we have first graders, we want them to know that something bad happened. we have to tell them something. we haven't said anything yet. yes, something bad happened but it's very usual and the bad man can't hurt anyone anymore. that's how we would, as first graders we would approach that. and we just need to work to make our community better, and not to be afraid, you're safe with mommy and daddy. you're safe. >> no doubt you've had to council people who have lost loved ones, what do you say in that -- is there anything to say or is it just listen? >> there are things to say, but i think often times we're
1:34am
inclined to want to say things first. i think listening is the first response, is to listen to people's grief, listen to what they're -- even if they can't articulate not coming in thinking that a certain word, phrase or even people of faith, certain scriptures will just solve or heal instantly. but those words of scripture, those words are significant. but realizing that we have to continue to listen and to find appropriate ways with them to find expression and a meaning that come out of our traditions. folks i council in my own tradition. that would be what we would draw upon in our christian faith. >> the loss of a child is something -- that pain never goes away. >> it's really horrible. and when you see the parents wailing like that, you realize, that's how we would be if we were there too. these are all of our children. and so -- i think matt said it
1:35am
very well, you take your cues, see where the person's at. there's all different kinds of people. some people will like a theological explanation. noah's mother, veronica, i told her this morning, where is the 6-year-old inside of you, where did it go? she said, well, it's still in me. in a sense, there's a spiritual idea that there really is no death and it's just transformation as we, through nature, grow. our 6-year-old is still surrounded by the greater aspect of ourselves as we grow and mature. and so it's a leap of faith to say after we leave our body that we become part of a greater matrix or a greater motif in the universe. >> i appreciate both of you for being with us tonight, but also just being on the stage and what you said, i thought it was extraordinarily powerful. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> wish you the best. thank you. thank you. when we come back, remembering principal dawn hochsprung. with her children and her husband. we'll be right back.
1:36am
[ female announcer ] born from the sweet monk fruit, something this delicious could only come from nature. new nectresse. the 100% natural no-calorie sweetener made from the goodness of fruit. new nectresse. sweetness naturally.
1:37am
1:38am
the principal who -- god bless her -- lost her life. she was a very special person. and all the parents knew that.
1:39am
>> the principal of sandy hook elementary was respected and admired by the teachers and parents and loved by the students as well. dawn hochsprung was her name, we mentioned her before, she became principal two years ago, she was a mom of one of the first graders, she never saw her without a smile, on that awful day at that school who survived, say dawn died protecting them, confronting the gunman herself. it was a terrible loss of a beloved principal, more importantly, of a wife, mother and grandmother. tonight dawn hochsprung's daughter, posted this picture on twitter of president obama holding dawn hochsprung's granddaughter. my mom would be so proud to see president obama holding her granddaughter but not as proud as i am of her. gary tuchman spoke with dawn hochsprung's husband and kids about the remarkable woman she
1:40am
was. >> reporter: principal dawn hochsprung was quite a bit younger than her husband george, when they got married ten years ago, george was marrying his boss. >> she was an assistant principal at our school, and i was a 7th grade math teacher at that time. and i just fell in love with her. >> george made the big decision, the time had come to propose. >> she turned me down five times. >> you asked her to marry you, but she turned you down? >> five times. >> what about the sixth time? >> the sixth time i waited until it wasn't such rough sailing. >> reporter: george had been popping the question on a sailboat they bought together. >> we got married on the swoop out of mystic. beth, amy and ann are george's daughters from his first marriage. erica is dawn's daughter from her first marriage. her other daughter tina was out while we were at the house.
1:41am
they're a blended but very close family with 11 grandchildren. >> we built this beautiful house in the adirondacks, the dream was, chronological dream, it was going to be dawn's house, because i was going to die. i'm much older than dawn. it was going to be dawn's house, dawn's grandchildren, all these children could use the house on the lake and it would be wonderful. we built rooms downstairs for kids and it was going to be dawn's house ultimately. with all the children. all the children. and now it's me. i can't -- i don't think i can do that. >> i want to reiterate to you, george, you have these beautiful daughters and son in laws and grandchildren and everyone will be here to take care of you. is that right, ladies? >> of course. >> my job has always been to take care of other people. >> it's all right if some people take care of you for a while? >> no one takes care of me. >> stop being so stubborn. >> reporter: george still taught
1:42am
at the middle school where they met. in the middle of the day friday, this is how george found out what happened. >> one of the kids came up with a computer and said, something's happening at sandy hook school and your wife's been killed. >> george raced out of school and into a nightmare, like all the families of victims they want to know more. and on this day they have learned more. two teachers who survived said they were having a meeting with dawn when the shots started ringing out. >> she put herself in jeopardy, and i have been angry about that until just now, today, when i met the two women she told to go under shelter while she actually confronted the gunman. she could have avoided that. and she didn't. i knew she wouldn't. i'm not angry anymore. i'm not angry. i'm not angry anymore. i'm not angry. i'm just very sad.
1:43am
they said, we're at the meeting, there were gunshots, somebody shot the window, somebody came in, into the -- not into the office but into the building, the foyer of the building and dawn told us to go hide and she and at least one other teacher ran out and actually tried to subdue the killer. i don't know where that comes from, dawn was all of 5'2". >> everyone here is proud, no one more so than erica, who said her mom was always there for her daughters. >> every game she was there, every practicing with all of my sister's cheerleading stuff she was there, every dance competition. she was doing home work on the bleachers. she was there. and she was my rock.
1:44am
my rock. >> and now she is a hero too. >> final thing i want to ask you, what would you say to your mom right now? >> come back. just come back. >> gary tuchman joins me now live. i guess some people don't understand why people would talk at a time like this. what i found is often times people want you to know about their loved one. want you to know about the life they lived, not just how their life ended. >> that's right, anderson. and they are such a wonderful and amazing family. we're so grateful they let us into their home on a day like this. it's very important for them to stay close and stay united. that's what will give them strength. of the five daughters, two of them live in connecticut. one lives in pennsylvania, one in new hampshire, one lives in london, they plan to stay together for a long time to give their father george strength. they have a happy event coming up in july.
1:45am
erica, the young lady we talked to, she's the only one of the five daughters that isn't married. she is getting married in july. they all believe that their mother's spirit will be there with them at the wedding ceremony in july. anderson? >> appreciate the reporting, thank you very much. janet vulmer, a kindergarten teacher at sandy hook elementary joins me live. i spoke to you on the phone friday. i've been thinking about you all weekend. i think heroes are teachers every day around the country. i find -- i just think what you did was so heroic. you -- explain again, you heard -- you knew something was going wrong. how? >> well, i mean we were in our classroom, we heard what sounded like gunshots, noises. >> you heard that -- >> well, there was a loud speaker, the p.a. system was not working in the way it normally is, you don't usually hear things unless someone makes an announcement. there were noises that didn't sound correct. there was no one telling us it was a drill.
1:46am
we just thought something was not right. we took the children and went into a lockdown, we go to a certain place in the room. we pull the blinds down, we lock the classroom doors and we cover the window at the door. >> this is something you had practiced. >> about a month or so before, dawn makes sure we do that. and we go to a safe place and typically when it's a drill they tell us, okay, and we even exited the building following a certain path. if there was an emergency we would go down to the sandy hook firehouse and gather there, which is what we did that day. we knew that -- >> but you sat the kids down. >> we sat in the cubby area, away from the door so no one could see us, read them a story, talked to them. they kept saying how come we're here for so long. well, it will be a little longer. when they're 5 you tell them whatever you do to keep them safe and keep them calm. >> this is what i've been thinking about all weekend, though, the courage for you to be able to sit there and read a story and keep them calm --
1:47am
>> i think the adrenaline kicks in and you do what you have to do. there were two other people in the room helping me with pulling down the blinds and that. i was focused on the kids and just keeping them safe. i'm not about to tell them that i think something is very bad or very wrong. so we waited and waited and it seemed like a very long time. maybe it was 20 minutes, a half hour, i'm not sure. there were knocks at the door. it was police, someone, telling us we had to leave. didn't want to open the door at first but we did. you know, they said have the children walk, hold hands, cover their eyes if they could because, you know, he didn't say why. have them cover their eyes. at 5, covering their eyes and walking isn't so easy. i had them look towards the wall and we went down the hall and out of the building. i said boys and girls, remember the adventure we had, we all walked to the firehouse? we're all going to do that again. by then the driveway of the
1:48am
school was filled with a lot of police and sirens and that but you know -- >> how are you holing up? >> again, adrenaline, you're moving, you're move, you know you have to get to safety. i didn't know what the situation was really occurring. we didn't have any information. >> but how are you holding up now? >> how am i holding up now. >> you knew a lot of these kids. >> ten of the children were in my class last year. ten of the kids who are dead now. when i heard those names, it's tough. it's tough. you know? i'm wanting to attend some of the services, i'm sure some families want privacy. there's a few children who i've had not just them, i've had their siblings and in one case i've had all three. their families we're close with. at sandy hook school we're a tight-knit group. i live in the community also. >> dawn and all the others, obviously you worked with them. >> yes. >> what do you want people to know about them, about this
1:49am
community, about -- >> i want them to be able to come back to school. i don't know if we'll come back to sandy hook school. i'm hearing we'll possibly be moved to another building somewhere else. we do need to get the kids back in school. we need to see them. it was helpful tonight to see some families. they were all calling us heroes. we don't feel like that. we did what we needed to do and kept their children safe and, you know, i was able to tell everybody in my class your kids are safe. that made me feel good. >> you're a hero to me and i think to a lot of people. >> thank you. >> i appreciate you talking. >> all right. thank you. >> amazing. coming up, we want to play you more of president obama's speech at the memorial service tonight. at one point president asking if we can honestly say we are doing enough to keep our children safe from harm. >> can we say we're truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives
1:50am
and happiness and with purpose? i've been reflecting on this the last few days. if we're honest with ourselves, the answer is no. we're not doing enough.
1:51am
1:52am
we want to share a video with you. it's the kind of video, frankly, all parents take of their children, a video chronicling the small moments, the sweet moments, the moments that make up a childhood. it's a video of one of the children who died in this terrible tragedy, a beautiful little girl, 6 years old, her name ana marquez-greene. her brother, isaiah was also at the school. he was not harmed. ana's father gave us permission to show this video. otherwise we wouldn't show it.
1:53am
they want you to see her as she was, singing, making music with her brother and praising god. tonight we remember ana, we remember all the children. >> come now all mighty king. >> one, two, three, ready and go. ♪ come now almighty king ♪ help us to see ♪ ♪ amen >> amen. it's been an incredibly emotional night here in newtown, connecticut, as it has been the last several nights as the
1:54am
commune came together for that memorial service at the high school just behind me. president obama met with victim's families and spoke at the service. we want to play you more of what he said tonight with sincere hope that the president's words brought some measure of comfort, some small measure of comfort in some way to the people of newtown tonight. >> this is our first task, caring for our children. it's our first job. if we don't get that right, we don't get anything right. that's how, as a society, we will be judged. and by that measure, can we truly say as a nation that we're meeting our obligations? can we honestly say that we're doing enough to keep our
1:55am
children, all of them, safe from harm? >> i've been reflecting on this the last few days, if we're honest with ourselves, the answer is no. we're not doing enough. and we will have to change. since i've been president, this is the fourth time we have come together to comfort a grieving community torn apart by mass shootings. fourth time we've hugged survivors. fourth time we've consoled the families of victims. and in between there have been an endless shootings across the country, almost daily reports of victim, many of them children, in small towns and big cities all across america. victims whose much of the time they're only fault was being in
1:56am
the wrong place at the wrong time. we can't tolerate this anymore. these tragedies must end. and to end them we must change. we will be told that the causes of such violence are complex and that is true. no single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. but that can't be an excuse for inaction. surely we can do better than this. if there's even one step we can take to save another child or another parent or another town from the grief that's visited tucson and aurora and oak creek
1:57am
and newtown and communities from columbine to blacksburg before that, then surely we have an obligation to try. in the coming weeks i'll use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens from law enforcement to mental health professionals to parents and educators in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this. because what choice do we have. we can't accept events like this as routine. are we really prepared to say that we're powerless in the face of such carnage? that the politics are too hard? are we prepared to say that such
1:58am
violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom? >> president obama earlier tonight speaking at the high school just behind us wolf blitzer join me now live. i was wondering about your thoughts while listening to the president. >> you know, he did tonight what he didn't do the earlier times. he tried to comfort the nation. he specifically promised that he would take steps, he didn't go into details, take steps to try to make sure that these senseless killings don't happen again, even if he can save a few lives. obviously what he's referring to is legislation dealing with gun control. >> and also mental health issues. >> i think there's a lot of things potentially he can do. there will be a political fight. obviously the house of representatives in the senate, there are no guarantees. he did make that commitment, he promised he was going to do, and i think mayor bloomberg of new york wants him to do, not just talk a little bit, but start taking some action.
1:59am
>> it's something he had talked about before becoming president. >> right. >> but not something he actually pursued in office. >> he didn't just have problems with republicans who are opposed to stricter gun control. there are plenty of democrats out there who don't even want to talk about it. they think it's such a losing issue for them politically. they didn't want to get involved. including the senate majority leader, harry reid. he has a lot of other issues, he has a fiscal cliff. there's a war zone still going on in afghanistan. i think he's going to deal with this -- you know, he's in his second term, he doesn't the have to worry about getting re-elected. i don't know if he'll succeed. i've been in washington a long time. gun control is a tough issue but i think it's something he'll certainly try. >> a crime like this has shocked the nation. whether it leads to change, we'll have to see. on the mental health issues. you and sanjay were talking about this earlier, mental health is something which is so oddly dealt with this in country -- >> right. >> it's not dealt with or considered in the same way as a disease like canr.